August 25, 2022
By Karen Hunt
My son and I love to watch television programs that bring in business experts to help failing establishments. In one of the episodes, an owner had a manager, who was lazy, incompetent and wasteful. When the manager was confronted, he said that he was “all in” to make the necessary changes. Throughout the episode, he continued to repeat that he was “all in”, even though it became more and more obvious that he could not change. By the middle of the episode, each time he said “all in,” my son and I would dissolve into laughter because the term had become meaningless.
Of course, it wasn’t funny to the owner. It was incredibly sad to see him betrayed. What made it even sadder was that the manager he had hired was his close friend and that he had confronted him many times before the show about the need to change.
No one likes people who say things that they don’t mean, not even God. In the Old Testament, the Lord had problems with His people who said one thing but didn’t mean the words they said.
“The Lord says: these people come near me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”Isaiah 29:13 NIV
In other words, they were merely going through the motions. Every part of the Bible speaks to us, all of us, and I realized what God desires from those who are already following him is honesty. People who come into a service, and say the right things at the right time, but there is no meaning behind those words, are not truly worshiping. That is not the true Christian experience.
So are we being honest with God and are we being honest with ourselves about our faith walk? Is it growing? Are we putting in real effort into it, or are we just showing up on Sunday morning and following along and mouthing the words mechanically?
God doesn’t mind doubts; He doesn’t mind periods of time where we put in prayer and Bible reading, but nothing seems to happen. What He does mind are people who are not sincere with God and who are not putting in effort in their spirituality, even if the effort doesn’t seem to be making progress at the moment.
Throughout the Bible, God welcomes those who cry out to him in anger, in anguish, or in doubt. He welcomes anyone who cries from the heart. His love is big enough for all of the pain and questions.
As we go through our Christian walk, let us examine ourselves. Is our spiritual life on autopilot? Do we just go through the motions? Instead, whatever our place is in our Christian life, let us cry out to God to guide us to remove the hindrances for ourselves to worship him with sincerity.
Photo Credit: Sixteen Miles Out